A large number of event planners, throughout London and the rest of the UK, are becoming increasingly more eco-conscious and are implementing these attitudes into the planning and execution of their events. Making the event you’re planning more environmentally friendly, simply requires you to be more mindful about the way in which you organise it. This includes the venue you decide on, your catering options, eco-friendly decor and your methods of managing waste. You should consider whether or not there are environmentally friendly alternatives to everything that is required for your event.
So, are eco-friendly events an exciting new trend to follow? Well, in this article we will run through the benefits, the goals of a green event and the ways in which you can make your next event eco-friendly.
Why Have Eco-Friendly Events Become a Trend?
The organisation of green events has become ever more important in recent years. Putting environmental issues at the core of your event planning has become a powerful trend in this industry. Large events have the ability to influence social change and demonstrate the importance of environmental issues.
There seems to be more of a duty for our event planners to take this on board and help to promote a greater awareness of our environment. This is particularly the case for London event planners, where pollution levels have recently hit an all-time high. Through the organisation of green events, event planners are showing the general public their commitment to employing eco-friendly approaches. This, as a result, helps to encourage the increase of environmentally-conscious decisions we make in the UK, as a whole.
If you are thinking of taking on board this commitment to our environment, then there are several goals that you should be trying to achieve when it comes to organising an eco-friendly event.
What is the Goal of Eco-Friendly Events?
Depending on the nature of the event you’re organising, you will have different green goals to work towards. However, with each event you plan, you should bear these five goals in mind, throughout the entire process.
It is easy to produce an excessive amount of waste both during the planning and execution of an event. The need for one-use plastic cups, plates and cutlery often leads to a huge contribution of plastic to landfill sites. Similarly, the majority of paper used for promotional, marketing and conference packs also ends up being thrown away, and in the digital age we’re living in, these additions seem redundant.
Cutting Down Energy Usage
Effective use of lighting and electronic equipment is often necessary and unavoidable at large events. However, more often than not, digital screens (such as digital graffiti walls), projectors, and lights are left on for longer than required, which is a huge waste of electricity. Likewise, excessive use of air conditioning and lighting is unnecessary and expensive. Be conscious of how much energy you are using for the duration of your event.
Reducing Food Waste
Sometimes food waste is unavoidable; people are fussy, caterers miscalculate..etc. However, some simple estimations can go a long way in preventing an excessive amount of food waste.
Opting for Green Venues
This is a vital aspect of your event planning but can be difficult to implement. The venue you decide on obviously needs to accommodate for the type of event you are organising, the number of guests you have attending and the types of entertainment you are hiring. However, it is worth looking into venues that share their commitment to reducing event carbon footprints. If you’re a wedding event planner, then Green Union have compiled a list of the most eco-friendly and sustainable wedding venues across the UK.
Encouraging Public Transport
Location is an important factor to consider when you are searching for a venue. Finding a venue close to public transport is a great way of encouraging attendees to travel by bus and train or car share with others. This is a great way of reducing your event’s carbon footprint and minimising pollution. If you are planning a London event, then encouraging your attendees to take public transport will be straightforward – events outside of London often present more of a challenge.
How to Make Your Event Green?
Now that we have run through some of the reasons why making your event more eco-friendly is so important, you can begin to consider some actionable steps to enforce this.
Choosing a Venue
The venue that you decide on will provide your attendees with a clear idea of your event values. If you are looking to achieve a green event, then it is important that you consider the following points.
Does the Venue Share Your Green Credentials?
Most venues that are committed to making positive environmental changes will have this clearly advertised. Chances are, if the venue you are looking into is not shouting about their green policies, then they won’t have any. However, if you have your eye on an ideal venue but have not found any evidence to suggest they have eco-friendly credentials, then it is always worth asking. If they don’t, then make sure to let them know of your reasons for not choosing them and that you will be looking elsewhere for a more eco-conscious venue to host your event.
Do They Use Renewable Energy Sources?
All major event spaces nowadays should be utilising sustainable energy sources; there is no excuse not to for at least some of their energy demands. It is important to look into whether or not your shortlist of venues offer this. Solar panels are now affordable, easily accessible and highly efficient. They are the most successful form of renewable energy for venues located in cities. Again, if a venue’s main source of energy is from renewable sources, they are highly likely to publicise this fact.
Feeding and watering your guests is a key component of any event. It is often one of the most memorable aspects of a venue. Whether the food is shocking or really good, this is something that most attendees will remember your event by. If you are planning a green event, then it is important to incorporate this into the catering. Here are some ways that you can do so.
Use Local Suppliers
Purchasing your catering supplies from local suppliers is regarded as more ethical, a great way of reducing your event’s carbon footprint and helps to support the smaller businesses. ‘Local’ has become a powerful buzzword when it comes to environmentally-conscious issues. If you display the fact you have catered using local suppliers, then it is likely to be appreciated by your event guests.
Opting for pesticide-free food is a great way of showing your support for the environment. This is likely to cause a greater enthusiasm around your event and generate ticket sales. Take a look at ‘Eco Cuisine’; who pride themselves on being the home of ethical, sustainable and organic catering in London.
By making sure you opt for both organic and local produce, you can not only help to protect the environment, reduce your carbon footprint, and support businesses who provide only local ingredients.
Reducing Energy Consumption
If you are hosting your event with an external venue company, then there is not much you can do about reducing energy consumption, apart from select an environmentally conscious venue. However, if you have your own space to host an event, then there are several ways you can cut down on energy waste.
Installing Energy Efficient Appliances
There are a plethora of energy efficient event supplies available nowadays. If you’re not already utilising these devices, then you’re not only costing yourself unnecessary expenses, but you’re also contributing to global warming.
By swapping your lighting systems to LED lights you can save yourself considerable amounts of money and save only electricity usage. It is also worth investing in adequate insulation in your venue. This will help to preserve heat, save on heating bills and cut down electricity usage. Double Glazing in Luton is a worthwhile investment that will keep your guests at a comfortable temperature throughout your events.
Managing Materials and Waste
Large-scale events are notorious for creating considerable amounts of waste. Therefore, it is vital that you reuse, reduce and recycle as much as you can. Ensure recycling bins are easily accessible throughout your venue space
Opting for Eco-Friendly Decor
Decorating your venue is an essential part of the event preparation, however, these supplies, such as balloons and banners, are often only used once and then end up in landfill sites, taking hundreds of years to decompose. Nevertheless, it is possible for you to effectively decorate your event venue without impacting on the environment. Here are some eco-friendly decor ideas.
Use Reusable Decorations
Purchasing decorative supplies for one event and then throwing them away after their first use is an appalling waste of materials and can easily be prevented. Make sure you try to reuse and recycle these props and decorative features as much as possible – you may find they are the perfect addition for your next event. If you are struggling for space to store all of your decor supplies, then it might be worth investing in storage containers in Westminster.
Use Seasonal and Local Flowers
For weddings and parties that require the addition of floral decorations, it is important that you look close to home for these supplies. It is incredibly uneco-friendly to fly flowers from across the world to be used at just one event, particularly when we grow plenty of beautiful blooms here in the UK.
Use Eco-Friendly Materials
While a lot of the venue decor is often made out of plastic and other non-biodegradable materials, there are always eco-friendly alternatives. ‘Little Cherry’ are experts in supplying stunning environmentally friendly party supplies, including biodegradable balloons and compostable ribbon. They also offer party pom poms and streamers that can be used for table centrepieces, as well as reusable bunting.
You can make sure to look for supplies that are made from cork, hemp, recycled glass, cardboard, bamboo fibre and low VOC paints, as these are all environmentally friendly and fully biodegradable. It is also worth advertising the fact that all of your event decors have been sourced from eco-friendly materials.
We truly believe that eco-friendly events are an exciting new trend that is worth following. Large-scale events are a great way for spreading awareness surrounding key issues that impact us all. By implementing some of the ideas we have discussed above, you can plan and execute a fully green event and do your part in protecting our environment.